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Increase in fraudulent marriages

While warning Bahamians to not be “hoodwinked”, Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Superintendent Matthew Edgecombe said yesterday there has been an increase in fraudulent marriages in The Bahamas.

“Back in the past, we had a few but now we think it is more prevalent now,” Edgecombe told reporters during a press conference at the Paul Farquharson Conference Centre.

“I can tell you about something that happened. A lady had a newborn baby and went to go get her baby registered and she found out that, ‘No ma’am, you’re married to someone else.’

“That’s where it comes to a lot.”

Edgecombe said that most individuals who are targeted are usually young women who “are not well-educated, might not be working” and who are looking for “a quick buck”.

He said perpetrators often offer victims money in exchange for the use of their government documents.

There were eight cases of fraudulent marriages in 2018, according police statistics.

However, yesterday it was revealed that there are already 12 cases for the year.

Last month, it was reported that five people were accused of conducting a fraudulent marriage scheme aimed at getting status for Haitian immigrants.

In a statement, which was released last month, Haiti’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised that officials would investigate the matter further.

Yesterday, when asked if police would launch its own investigation into the matter, Edgecombe said, “We never said we are looking at the Haitian embassy. We never said we’re looking at Haitians.

“We said that the trend we saw thus far were a lot of Haitian persons were getting married. We have a lot of other nationalities. We have Jamaicans. We have Dominican Republic people. We have all kind of different [people], but the most that we’ve seen thus far are Haitian nationals.”

He advised the public not to be “hoodwinked or fooled into doing these stuff”.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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